Our Team

Cristina Orpheo – Executive Director / Administration and Finances

Graduated in Business Administration from the Universidade Anhembi Morumbi, she holds a Masters degree in Social Project Management, Third Sector and Environmental Management. Her career includes 15 years of experience in administrative and financial management of projects, human resources management, project design, strategic planning and monitoring of environmental public policies. Cristina was also active in River Basin committees, the National Water Resources Council and in networks such as the Brazilian Forum of NGOs and Social Movements.

Maria Amália Souza – Executive Director / Institutional Relations

Amalia is the Founding Executive Director of CASA Socio-Environmental Fund, currently sharing this role, now responsible for Institutional Relations. With a degree in International Services, Development and Environmental Studies from World College West, CA (89), and as alumna of the Donella Meadows Leadership Fellows program, she uses systems thinking to inform her philanthropic work. Along her career of nearly 30+ years, she specialized in designing strategies that assure philanthropic resources reach the most excluded grassroots groups in South America that work on social and environmental justice issues. She is part of the founding steering committee of the Brazil Philanthropy Network for Social Justice, and represents CASA in several global coalitions, such as GAGGA-Global Alliance for Green and Gender Action and the Global Alliance of Socio-Environmental Funds.  She sits on the Advisory Board for The Ocean Foundation, and is Chair of the Board for the Nucleus of Information Technology Research, Education and Training-NUPEF.

Maíra Lacerda – Program Officer

Maíra P. Lacerda belongs to the Krenak people and has a degree in History from the University of São Paulo- USP. She grew up amidst indigenous and forest peoples due to her parent’s intensive dedication to this cause, and started working in the field early on. She did production work for the indigenous festival series “Rites of Passage” realized by the Indigenous Traditions Institute-IDETI. She was also general coordinator for the three CECI projects – Indigenous Education and Cultural Center – in the Guarani people’s villages of Tenondé Porã, Krukutu e Tekoa Pyaú, through a partnership with São Paulo Municipal Secretariat of Education. Maíra developed the project “Krukutu Cultural Center” with the Tekoá Pyaú e Krukutu villages of the Guarani, which earned her the Youth Initiatives Prize Anhembi Morumbi in 2008. She is co-founder of the cultural production and publishing company Ikore.

Rodrigo Moreira – Projects Assistant

Rodrigo holds a degree in Environmental Management, with specialty in Project Management. He has a Post Graduate degree in Geology with an emphasis on Urban Development, Industrialization and Environment and is currently studies Civil Engineering. He has international experience in the environmental field, mostly in China and Mauritania. He has worked for thirteen years as coordinator of resource transferring programs from the federal government to municipalities.

Claudia Gibeli – Projects Assistant

Graduated in Biological Sciences from the University of Santo Amaro, majoring in Ecology from São Judas University, in Environmental Management from the University of Sao Paulo – USP, and holds master’s degree in Planning and Land Management from the ABC Federal University of ABC UFABC. She has extended experience in development of social and environmental diagnosis, as well as planning and project management in slum upgrading programs since 2000. She was a UNDP Consultant at IBAMA in 2005.

Vanessa Ourique Purper – Projects Assistant

Vanessa is a Public Relations practitioner, graduated at the Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul (PUC-RS) and a post-grad in Digital Journalism.  She taught at the Catholic and at the Federal University (UFRGS) from 2009 to 2015. From 2002 until 2008 she worked for NGOs and international networks focused on the strategic use of information and communications technologies, acting as events and logistics coordinator, network development assistant and projects assistant.

Taila Wengrzynek – Administrative Coordinator

Taila has a degree in Accounting certified by Brazilian Accounting Authority- CRC, graduated in Financial Management from Senac, and as Accounting Technician from Centro Paula Souza. She is currently studying Administration at Anhanguera Educational Center. She previously worked with private companies such as Caixa Econômica Federal, where she was an intern, and also at Neimafer Accounting. She has advanced knowledge of Spanish.

Alahir Maha Amaral – Administrative Assistant

Alahir Maha Amaral has extensive experience in purchases and procurement, expenses planning, legal procedures and financial reporting. She has worked in the administrative department of several companies, and was chief of purchases and procurement for the Juquitiba City Hall. Currently she studies Civil Engineering at the Anhembi Morumbi University. She speaks English and Spanish.